Two Canadians discuss some preliminary thoughts and also doing this as an open blog.

108_i_castor_canadensis_mDAVE: Hi Marie-Claire – It was great chatting with you this past weekend. Just setting up this dialogue to get a semblance of “things rolling.” Over the next week or so, I’m going to list the fieldtrip’s general logistics and brief descriptions of activities involved.  I’ll also try and highlight specifics (such as numbers of students, grade level, as well as provide the lesson plans.

It would be useful to get more info on the SSRC template (due date, sections, best practices, tricks of the trade – if any) – maybe even think about which sections can be initially written by me, which by you, and which together (before we start proper edits where presumably we both weigh in).

MARIE-CLAIRE: Yes, good idea. I don’t think the competition has been opened yet so the final dates and forms probably haven’t been set yet. But it is likely in October and I can check on what last year’s forms looked like.

DAVE: Do let me know if there are particular “experimental scenarios” worth trying.  For instance, if we do 18 fieldtrips, is that 18 separate classes, or 6 classes coming three times each.  Should we do some where we deliberately leave out the “writing part” (like would that be a negative control?).  Should the content try hard to reinforce similarities between science and creativity, or should there be a softer approach – would it be nice to do both and compare and contrast.  I guess, I’m saying that we have room to really try some different things as points of comparison.  For instance, if the need presents itself, I can see if I can expand the fieldtrip number ot 36 to allow collection of these types of situations, or maybe it’s just best to focus on simple singular comparisons for now.  I actually favour the latter, as I’m more of a baby steps kind of person, but since this is the first go, it may also make sense to expand the research query, and then see if there is something interesting to focus on.

MARIE-CLAIRE: In the next few weeks, I’ll get my head back into the creativity literature and think through this in more detail. Seeing where the gaps are (and there are lots) in that literature can maybe help us decide on whether to emphasize something with some experimental elements or somthing that is more observational.

DAVE: I’m not super clear on the type of methodology and analysis required for this kind of study, and as a result, I’m not sure if there’s a need for additional collaborators.  Is there merit in this, or does this kind of study seem like something just the two of us can handle fine?  Anyway, think about this as well – I do have some colleagues in Vancouver that might be interested in this type of research, but you know how things can be when the committee gets bigger and bigger!

MARIE-CLAIRE: I’d say there’s still a lot of time to think about it. Maybe let’s start the ideas going and see how it looks. As you say collaborators bring great new expertise but then research can start to suffer from a committee effect. Our studies are typically led by 1-3 people but can be more if it’s larger or more geographically spread out.

DAVE:  What do you think about using an open blog for this discussion, so that everything is out there?  i.e. Not use google docs, but something where folks can see what we’re doing or talking about in real time.  I think you should make the final call here, since I think the “research” piece affects you the most (for me, it’s not really necessary career wise at this point, so I don’t have a fear of scooping, etc).  Anyway, ponder on this – having it open might also add an additional layer of utility to this process.

MARIE-CLAIRE: Very cool idea! I’m definitely open to it. We don’t really have a scooping problem in my area. It’s a bit like we chatted about regarding books. There are so many different ways to approach the types of questions we look at that most of the time no one else could exactly what each of us does.

DAVE: Game on!

MARIE-CLAIRE: Looking forward to it!

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